doctor saudi hajj
Online consultations are available round the clock for Hajj pilgrims this year. Image Credit: SPA

Cairo: Saudi health authorities have introduced virtual medical consultations for Muslims gathering in the kingdom to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage that began Friday.

The kingdom’s Ministry of Health said that the online consultations are available round the clock by dialling the hotline 937 or via the app Sehaty or the X platform to give the pilgrims access to credible consultations and the necessary medical guidance wherever they are and at any time while undertaking the Hajj rituals.

The service is also available in six languages: Arabic, English, French, Turkish, Persian and Urdu.

The pilgrims using the service get the requested medical audio, video or text consultation. Files can be attached and electronic prescription can be obtained too.

Saudi authorities have, moreover, deployed thousands of medical professionals to serve the pilgrims. The Ministry of Health has placed more than 32,000 medical and administrative personnel on duty at health facilities including mobile clinics in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina as well as other sacred sites to provide different medical services for the pilgrims.

The professionals comprise more than 5,000 doctors in different specialties offering round-the-clock emergency care and quick response assistance at 183 well-equipped healthcare establishments, including 32 hospitals, 151 medical centres, in addition to six mobile clinics. The facilities comprise intensive care units and offer treatment for sun strokes.

Hot to extremely hot weather is expected during the Hajj season with temperatures forecast to range from 45 to 48 degrees Celsius in Mecca and Medina.

Saudi authorities have sought to reduce the impact of searing heat by cooling roads, pedestrians’ walkways, and installing misting fans and umbrellas at the holy places.